Restaurants

  • It’s all about lo-fi wines and classic wine bar snacks (think cured sardines with cucumber, or grilled ox tongue with potatoes) at Brico. Soak them up in the light-filled corner bar or head to the airy courtyard out back.

  • Just 20 diners a night are admitted to this inimitable Indian restaurant, where owner-chef Helly Raichura cooks vibrant banquets faithful to regional Indian cuisines using top-quality local produce and native ingredients.

  • This cosy and retro restaurant has plenty of community charm. Come for a casual catch-up or romantic dinner date over cocktails, stay for the consistently good – nay, great – gnocchi and Italian mains.

  • Henry Sugar is the kind of wine bar every neighbourhood should have. It’s intimate yet communal; sophisticated yet relaxed. The mix of contemporary Australian fare, sharp cocktails and easy-drinking natural wines are a sure-fire bet your first time here won’t be the last.

  • Lucky’s Pizzeria in North Carlton is a sweet little pizza joint that locals love.

  • La Luna bistro is a meaty affair and much-loved local favourite.

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Cafes

  • It’s a classic milk bar, but not as you know it. Everything here is plant-based, from the serious sandwiches to country-bakery staples (like dim sims and cinnamon rolls). Plus, there are “puppacinos” for your pooch.

  • This panini spot takes cues from Italian paninotecas and old-world Mediterranean delis. Build your own panini or choose from classic combos such as mortadella and crushed pistachio, or prosciutto, pesto and fior di latte.

  • This Rathdowne Village cafe has an old soul: with a relaxed, unpretentious feel reminiscent of the pre-Instagram era. It's got a pared-back, produce-driven menu that looks different day to day (but the standout gravlax and signature riff on eggs Florentine aren't going anywhere).

  • A welcome oasis for coffee lovers in North Carlton.

  • A consistent neighbourhood favourite.

Bars

  • One of the city’s OG craft beer destinations, this boozer has dozens of indie brews on tap, and the beer garden is an excellent spot to work your way through them. We’d expect nothing less from a pub owned by Feral Brewing’s founder.

  • From morning to night, this laid-back spot is plating a new wave of Chinese-Australian dishes. Come early for coffee and congee, or later for beef sandos and a Chinese spin on spaghetti and meatballs.

  • This local wine bar, set on the inner north’s most neighbourly strips, doubles as a bottle-o. Choose from more than 300 wines, beers and spirits. Or stay for a bite (think ’roo skewers and pasta with Maltese sausage sauce).

  • Gerald Diffey and Mario Di Ienno’s storied neighbourhood bar brims with nostalgia. Vintage books, yesteryear’s wine bottles and a glimmering disco ball decorate the space – but the thing you’ll notice most is warm, old-school hospitality. The menus turn on a dime, so you’ll always have reasons to keep coming back.

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